January 23, 2020

MHS stays on the buyout trail with eMotion Controls acquisition

Deal adds to private equity-backed firm's e-commerce fulfillment automation catalog.

By DC Velocity Staff

Parcel sortation firm Material Handling Systems Inc. (MHS) is staying on the acquisition trail, announcing today that it has bought the controls system integration and software company eMotion Controls Co.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the two firms have partnered on multiple projects over the past 15 years, and MHS said it will now add eMotion to its Lifecycle Performance Services (LPS) unit.

The deal marks the latest in a flurry of acquisitions by the Mt. Washington, Kentucky-based MHS, which itself was taken over in 2017 by the private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. (THL). At the time, THL said that MHS was in position to ride the booming demand for e-commerce fulfillment automation products.

Since that time, MHS has been on a buyout tear, acquiring acquired OCM (Officina Costruzioni Meccaniche), a European company that provides sortation system technologies, as well as VanRiet Material Handling Systems, Atronix Engineering Inc., and Advanced Production Systems Inc.

Its latest move complements that group by adding Grand Rapids, Michigan-based eMotion, a firm that provides material handling systems integration, hardware design, software, and robotic solutions for customers in the parcel sortation and fulfillment & distribution sectors, among others.

"It's no secret that e-commerce is booming and hasn't even begun to approach its peak," MHS CEO Scott McReynolds said in a release. "Increasingly, logistics providers and retailers with major shipping operations are looking for end-to-end solutions that not only set them up for success but support their business on an ongoing basis—which is exactly what Lifecycle Performance Services does."

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